The Q&A Archives: green giant arborvite

Question: HELLO, I just purchased 15 green giants (western arborvite) from Monrovia at a garden center near me. The tag states they are DEER RESISTANT. I read about the green giant on line before I purchased them. Everything written about them claims that they are DEER RESISTANT. So far they have just tasted, nothing serious. Eventually will they not bother at all? If they keep tasting won't I eventualy see a browse line, or is the growth so quick on these trees I won't notice? I'm worried in the winter when nothing else is green, they will destroy them. I really had my doubts on purchasing them, and my landscaper told me that there is no such thing as a deer resistant arborvite. With all that I read I was so tempted to prove him wrong. I know nothing is DEER PROOF, but am I worrying for nothing? My husband wanted to use spruces, but I told him I discovered this miracle tree that was going to give us a quick screen. Was I wrong????? Kim

Answer: You're right - no plant is deer-proof - but arborvitae are not usually favored by deer and they are pretty much ignored. However, if the deer population is large and there is competition for food, a hungry deer will eat almost anything. Typically they browse the same path. Once they've tasted your arborvitae they will remember it wasn't necessarily a treat and they will probably nibble something much tastier in your garden, or in that of your neighbors. There simply are not any guarantees as far as plant desireability goes - it really depends on the deer population. If it's any help, spruces are not on the top of the list for deer munching, either, but a hungry deer might nibble them, as well. Wish I had better news for you!

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